With Indian Football leading from the front to bring back sporting action back in India, former Indian National Team captain Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh, currently the Assistant coach for FC Bengaluru United at the Hero I-League League Qualifier, is under quarantine at the team hotel in Kolkata as per medical parameters set for the event. Here’s him writing about the COVID bubble for the official AIFF website.
Improvise, adapt, overcome. These three were the words by the legendary American film director Clint Eastwood. Under the current situation, I feel that this is the spirit that has encircled the world of football, with the Hero I-League Qualifier 2020 being the first sporting activity to start in India.
Yes, most outdoor activities are curtailed at the moment because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, mankind has the propensity to show that we can overcome the odds that we face, and nothing describes it better than Football.
In India, since the pandemic struck, sporting activities have been suspended. It still stays suspended except Indian Football. We are currently in Kolkata under quarantine, and in the secured bio bubble as we wait for sporting action in India to resume on October 8 – Indian Football Forward Together.
It gives me immense pride and it’s also a surreal feeling that it’s Indian Football that is resuming sporting activities in India. I am extremely proud of being a footballer. The times have changed over the last five months, and we have seen many new regulations come in to alter the way we go about our daily lives.
At FC Bengaluru United — we had already been training for about a month, having put the safety measures in place for our players and staff. Now that the tournament is about to start we have arrived in Kolkata, and are currently going through the four-day quarantine inside our hotel.
Four days of not being able to step out of a room might often seem to be a daunting prospect. But that is never the case if you are looking forward to something and we are surely looking forward to the upcoming matches.
We have already mentally conditioned our players to be prepared for quarantine situations. Indeed, these regulations are important for the safety of everyone involved in the game. If it weren’t for these regulations, we would not have been looking forward to getting back on that rectangular green plot of land that we have all come to love over the years.
There are a number of rules that we have to adhere to when the matches get underway. But we have to be careful to stay within the bounds of the safety regulations. Our staff at FC Bengaluru United has already had conversations with the players about taking responsibility and adhering to the safety regulations, and I believe that this is the way we can move forward together.
At this stage, we cannot say whether COVID-19 is here to stay or not. It may be here for a few months; it may also be here for a few years – you never know. Hence, it becomes all the more important that we follow the safety procedure as individuals in order to be able to play the beautiful game without much danger to ourselves and those around us.
Personally, I am just happy to be able to concentrate on the four matches that lie between us and the Hero I-League. We have some very difficult matches ahead, but I believe in taking each match one at a time. Right now, everyone is concentrating on our first match against Bhawanipore FC, and that is exactly how it should be. We are working hard as a group to try and be where we want to be.
In the end, the new COVID safety regulations are similar to a new pair of boots. They may seem a little strange at first and sting initially, but once you get used to them, they’ll very much be an integral part of your feet.
(Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh; as told to Soumo Ghosh / AIFF Media)